Originally posted by Unregistered
You need to think long and hard about where your loyalties are. The aikido world is based upon loyalties and it seems as though yours are split.
Personally, and this has nothing to do with the AAA, I train in Japan with three different groups, only two of them Aikikai. All of the people involved are aware of what I do and you know what? Nobody cares - I even get encouragement from the instructors involved (shihan, both Aikikai and not).
Organizations grow because of the work of dedicated, loyal students -- how can the AAA grow with the attitude that you exhibit? With every new member that walks in the door, will you encourage them to check out the Shinjinkai club?
I'd say sure, why not? I always encourage people to check out as many dojo and organizations as they can. Some people will prefer one place, some people will prefer another.
I'm disturbed by the implication that it is the duty of the student to serve the organization rather than the other way around. Basically, my view is that organizations exist for only one reason - to make training easier for the students. The problem is that these things tend to get develop a life and a hunger of their own, and pretty soon you end up with a situation where the organization actually begins to hamper practice rather than encourage it.
How can the AAA grow? The same way any organization grows - by providing benefits to its members. Growth for its own benefit is rarely worthwhile, especially because there are actually very few benefits (and many expenses) involved with Aikido organizations. I tend to favor the minimum amount necessary to encourage practice - that's one of the reasons that I like the Aikikai, because it's so loose that you don't end up spending an inordinate amount of time jumping through arbitrary hoops.